Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record reports that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is open to moving Aroldis Chapman back into the closer’s role as soon as Thursday, when the club wraps up a four-game series against the Orioles.
Chapman, 29, has struggled this season and was taken out of the closer’s role in mid-August. He currently holds a 4.02 ERA with a 56/18 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings. In six appearances since his demotion, the lefty has allowed three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The Yankees wasted a 6-1 lead after three innings on Tuesday and ultimately lost when Manny Machado hit a walk-off two-run home run off of Dellin Betances in the bottom of the ninth inning. The loss hurt because the Yankees and Orioles are close competitors in the AL Wild Card race. The Yankees are currently 2.5 games up in the first Wild Card slot while the Orioles trail the Twins and Angels by one game for the second slot.